Join today! Learn to play Harmonica. Upload songs, videos and pictures. Share your progress and get feedback from other members.
I'm in as well, though I may have to take a computer course so I can play a track behind my personal playing. God help me, I can't even get a one page pdf up on the forum.
I agree with you on the disappointments. I have a suitcase full of harmonicas that have at least one reed blown, or the comb is broken beyond repair, but it has sorta become like gold mining for me, I know there is another nugget out there, so I keep digging til I find it. And like the player at the horse races, I only brag about the winners. Probably a disease I caught from playing used harmonicas, lol
Mmm... jam of the month...
When you want get your teeth into a good harmonica lesson, Will Wilde's chew-torials are great!
I quite like the idea, though personally I don't feel I'll be able to participate. I can barely find quiet time to film a short take, let alone jam over a live track.
Also, I thought that was already the idea with the song of the month project also ; more advanced players could freely jam over a backing track for those tunes. This would encourage and inspire us newbies how we can improvise on those tunes while we might otherwise only focus on the core melody. At least, that's how I understood it...
That said, any initiative to encourage more members to contribute is a good one.
I hereby give this project my seal of approval.
Thanks..I tried weaving a few songs into it, but the realized with the holiday coming something along those lines might be nice.
Interesting song with a light melody, (with some darker lyrics if used).
Started thinking who might be riding the train and working that into the song..but held off on that for now.
Nice simple song, that you could make as complex as you wanted depending on this and that.
Making the video was good practice in making videos as well...so a bit of a learning curve there also.
All an all it was nice and enjoyable..
I see lot's of stuff I could clean up, some notes I wouldn't use again and others that I might include etc ..I had a whole upper register portion worked out...funny once the recording started, I actually got a bit camera shy...and did not use it...still good to keep it fresh for future reference perhaps.
...and a good time was had by all.....
A smooth performance from J-Mar Congrats to both of you.
Thanks for sharing the videos, Andy. I think that this is a great idea so that we can all learn from each other.
keep on harpsquealin'!
You've got the job, Andy, good luck.
Go for it!
(This could be just as interesting, if you can organize it all.)
Another good 'un.
Thanks Harpdoctor for let me know the valve cleaning method. I shall definitely use my own old toothbrush which I
already have for cleaning of my diatonics.
I really don't have a problem with the idea of buying a used harp. Chromatics are expensive. I don't need to save $10.00 on a Marine Band but I'd like to save $100.00 on something like a CX12.
When I was a younger man, I kissed my share of girls...not so much now that I'm firmly planted in middle age . Having exchanged spit (sorry to be so graphic), I can't say that I suffered any ill effects other than a broken heart. Most germs live only a few hours outside of the human body. Your health is likely more endangered by all those people you share an elevator with. Folks tend to be a bit squeamish about the idea of a used harp but it's more of a psychological problem than anything else.
I'd be perfectly willing to take some time to sanitize a harp in exchange for saving a few bucks.
If you adopt my cleaning method, maybe you should make sure it is your own old toothbrush. lol
Huge difference between a $200 chromatic harmonica and a $3 toothbrush. Also there are lots if folks who buy really good harmonicas with the best of intentions, but never really get to playing them much. These can be purchased for a lot less than retail, mainly for the reason that you stated. Most people refuse to buy used harmonicas. Keep that story going around, it keeps the price down on the treasures.
Here's the cleaning method I use:
Cleaning windsavers (also called valves):
When you start getting regular popping and buzzing from your harmonica its time to give the windsavers a good clean.
Following the disassembly instructions above, remove the covers & reedplates from your harmonica. (The mouthpiece & slide can stay)
Get an old toothbrush (relatively clean) & a mug of warm water and possibly a little dishwashing liquid, isopropal alcohol or a few drops of bleach. Do not mix bleach, with dishwashing liquid in water as it produces chlorine gas. Bleach will discolour any silver plating or components
With the reedplates and windsavers you want to take great care. Initially clean the reedplates with gentle strokes from the center of the reedplate to the edge following the line of the reeds & windsavers, this way you don't mess up the windsavers or bust reeds.
Soak the reedplates for two minutes in (prefeably distilled) water
Put news print between the windsavers & reedplates and very slowly pull the paper out, repeat a few times.
This is to clean the remaining gunge out and help dry them off.
If you have two flap windsavers you can also use this procedure between the flaps as well.
If you like give the comb a quick going over with the toothbrush as well.
Rince everything else except the reedplates under the tap.
The simply sit the reedplates by a dehumidifier or in the hot water cupboard and let them dry out naturally.
DO NOT PUT IN DIRECT HEAT!
AVOID HEATERS, HAIRDRIERS AND HOT DASHBOARDS
Once dry gently pat off any residue.
I'd be involved in that as well, though you can see by my previous message, I am a bit technologically challenged when it comes to the computer and the net.
Fourth position on an, well, I can't think of that particular harp at the moment, but you get the idea.
Andy you just reminded me of a great chart I have. Never forget the right key for a position again!
I don't know why some of us are looking for 2nd hand harp. At any cost we
should not think to buy used harp form anybody and anywhere.
I myself, absolutely dead against of used harp purchase. We everybody
know that it is like our tooth brush.
Would you tell me the best way to clean the valves of chromatic?
I raised this in the song for a month forum, but thought it may be worth setting up a thread of it's own.
It's a basic idea. Every month we pick a backing track from Youtube in a particular key and use that to develop our own little improvisation/jam session. Like song for a month, the idea is to share a video of our attempt at the end of the Month. It would be interesting to see how people respond to the same track, and learn ways to respond in ways that we may not have thought of - a major benefit of the song of the month exercise.
It's a good way to learn to improvise, and to become more familiar with the 12 bar blues progression (we could do other ones in due course, but there are a lot of backing tracks for the 12 bar blues on Youtube so it's a good place to start).
Those more experienced jammers can show us newbies what to do, and us newbies have a structure within which to develop.
Here's an instructional video from Will Wilde, on starting to improvise. Will is doing exactly what I am suggesting, playing to a backing track from Youtube (this video gave me the idea).
And here is an example of the type of backing track available. I've selected a key of G, as most diatonic players tend to have a harp in the key of C since most teachers use this key.
Let me know what you think.
(There are technical issue involved, since you would need to have youtube playing whilst recording. Hopefully this won't put anyone off.)
Very good, again.
One tip I would have is that if you were to push your shoulders back, you would open up your chest and lungs and maybe breathe easier (This comes from Trumpet work - where you need to have as full a diaphragm as possible).
I too sometimes play hunched up, but this can restrict the flow of air.
There's nothing wrong in what you are doing, but as wind instrument players, we need to ensure that our engine room is working at optimum levels. Not that you need to have force when playing (as you do in trumpet - though that force comes from capacity and air pressure, not from muscle use (oh to be able to do that!)) - but relaxed and open lungs can only help.
An odd remark, perhaps, but there's pretty much nothing else to add as regard your playing.